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Incyte, SmithKline Beecham Expand Collaborative Efforts with DB Partnership

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PALO ALTO, Calif.--In the second major collaboration between the two companies announced this month, Incyte Pharmaceuticals here and SmithKline Beecham have entered into a multiyear partnership that will give SmithKline nonexclusive access to Incyte's PathoSeq microbial genome database in exchange for annual access fees and potential future royalties on sales of products developed with the information. The an nounce ment came approximately two weeks after the companies said they will form a joint venture, diaDexus, focused on data mining (see BioInform, September 15, page 1).

In releasing the news, the partners said both collaborations show their commitment to the use of bioinformatics and genomic technologies. PathoSeq currently contains information on over a dozen bacterial and fungal microorganisms, integrated with Incyte's proprietary analysis tools. Incyte continues to use its high-throughput sequencing facilities to sequence an additional one to two pathogenic genomes per month, according to the company, at a depth of coverage that will discover 95-99 percent of the genes in each genome. Incyte also surveys publicly available microbial sequence information for purposes of updating PathoSeq on a regular basis. New information incorporated into the database is edited, analyzed, and put through a quality control process, the company noted.

Incyte's product line includes a portfolio of databases that integrate bioinformatics software for such functions as data collection, warehousing, management, and mining; statistical analysis; and visualization capabilities, with both proprietary and publicly available genetic information.

"This new agreement builds on the relationship established between SmithKline Beecham and Incyte during the recent creation of diaDexus," commented George Poste, SmithKline's chief science and technology officer. "It underscores the value that we at SmithKline Beecham place on genomics and bioinformatics in creating novel antiinfectives at a time when infectious pathogens are becoming increasingly resistant to conventional therapies."

Randy Scott, Incyte's president and chief scientific officer, added, "We are extremely pleased to be expanding our relationship with SmithKline Beecham. The collaborations between Incyte and SmithKline Beecham in the areas of molecular diagnostics, and now microbial genomics, represent two major areas in which genomics can contribute to the development of new, value-added products."

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